Is Mike Conley Obtainable for Dallas?
By Isaac Harris
With Mike Conley set to hit free agency this summer, the Memphis Grizzlies might entertain offers come the deadline. Could he be obtainable for the Dallas Mavericks?
The Dallas Mavericks currently sit in the 6th spot in the Western Conference as they continue to get back at full strength from injuries and get ready for a stretch run. As the hottest topic surrounding the NBA right now is the trade deadline, Mavericks fans can only imagine what the Mavs might do at the deadline.
Just how active will the Mavs be over the next couple of weeks?
I don’t think anyone will doubt the Mavs and their constant effort to improve the team no matter the risk. We all watched Cuban & Co. trade for Rajon Rondo last winter only to see the disaster that entailed and the exit of Rondo that summer for nothing.
The problem this year is a combination of two things for the Mavs: the lack of young talent/draft picks and the fact that the most tradable assets are on small deals. So pulling off a major move is highly unlikely…but not impossible.
Let me entertain you with what would most definitely be the most blockbuster trade of the season and a trade that legitimately makes sense for all sides.
Now before you scroll to the bottom and type a funny comment to make yourself feel cool, let me unpack this from each team’s perspective.
This deal is OBVIOUSLY dependent on two things:
1.) They finally decide the current makeup of the team is not a title contending team and decide to really blow it up.
2.) They get indication from Conley’s camp that he will likely walk in the offseason.
So with that being said, the package they would get in return isn’t the end of the world.
The biggest piece of the puzzle is obviously getting Kevin Love in the deal. You immediately get one of the top 20 players in the NBA and probably the best stretch four in the game. You have him locked long-term in the front court with your All-Star in Marc Gasol. Building around the Love/Gasol combo isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Deron Williams isn’t Mike Conley, but he would fill in the starting role adequately on the short-term. A lineup of Williams, Lee, Barnes, Love, and Gasol could still do some damage this year for the Grizzlies.
In the deal, Cleveland would send at least one pick to Memphis, maybe a couple to sweeten the pot for Memphis. I would also expect to see Memphis try to unload Randolph for a point guard or wing player if this deal did take place.
Memphis would get a nice package in return instead of potentially losing Conley and Green for nothing over the summer.
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This obviously only takes place if they decide the Kevin Love experiment cannot work.
First off, this deal would shed the whole Love contract off the books for the next years to come. Even though the incoming contracts would equal to around Love’s salary this year, money would be saved in the future.
You would immediately replace the role of Love with the athletic four in Jeff Green and Lebron’s buddy Tristan Thompson. I mean they didn’t give him that money for nothing right?
Tony Allen gives the Cavs an elite wing defender that can go against the best, probably better than Iman Shumpert does. Having both of them would be scary.
Zaza Pachulia would replace the Mozgov role perfectly with the Cavs while Raymond Felton would slide in as a backup guard who is capable of valuable minutes.
Green, Pachulia, and Felton all come with expiring contracts but more importantly, getting Green and Allen would give the Cavs more fire power they have been wanting on the wings.
This would be yet another huge risk for the Mavs, but a risk I believe you would have to take if presented.
Dallas has proven over the years to strike out in big free agent names so getting Conley now to have the edge going into the summer would be HUGE for the Mavs as they would likely offer him a max contract.
Conley would replace Deron Williams immediately and form a solid backcourt with Matthews and Parsons on the wing.
For Mozgov, a similar situation would follow in regards to Conley. Cleveland won’t likely be able to match whatever salary he will get in the offseason and the Mavs would look to lock him up long-term for a reasonable price.
He would replace the Pachulia role for the Mavs and give the Mavs a little more rim protection on defense. But the same risk follows, he could walk for nothing in the offseason.
A Conley, Matthews, Parsons, Nowitzki, Mozgov starting unit is a solid lineup.
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There have been no news surrounding this deal, a pure speculative piece as rumors will start to fly surrounding Mike Conley over the next couple of weeks.
My best bet would be that Conley stays in Memphis for the long-term, but if they decided to entertain offers, I believe this deal would satisfy all three teams.